UW News

March 12, 2020

UW graduate student tests positive for COVID-19

UW News

The UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) announced Thursday that a UW Seattle campus graduate student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student is recovering at home, out of state, and we wish them well.

The student was last on campus on March 6. The student was tested March 11, at home, and informed the University of the results on March 12. The student lived in the Mercer Court campus housing. The apartment, rooms and common areas of Mercer Court and other buildings that the student has been in on campus are being cleaned and disinfected per public health guidance.

For more information about the novel coronavirus, visit www.uw.edu/coronavirus.


The UW’s Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) has been in direct contact with the student and has been coordinating with Public Health – Seattle King County. Based on the information gathered from this case, the risk of transmission for the general community is considered to be low. Additional information has been sent to those who may have had close contact with the student. The University’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) is not currently recommending additional measures beyond those that have already been indicated, but will continue to monitor the situation and advise the appropriate individuals or groups accordingly, should that change.

For more information about COVID-19, see the University’s COVID-19 website. As a reminder, most people with COVID-19 infection develop mild to moderate illness without the need for medical care. Those who are older and/or have underlying health issues are at higher risk for developing more serious illness. The most important things each of us can do to limit the spread of illness are to:

  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. If water is not available, use hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage.


The University’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases continues to respond to the outbreak in coordination with state and local health departments and will provide updated information to the University community as the situation warrants.

Given increased testing and interventions, more cases can be expected as community spread of COVID-19 continues. Information about any future confirmed cases among UW community members will be sent to units and personnel known to be directly affected, and case counts will be maintained on the University’s COVID-19 website.

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CONTACT: Victor Balta // balta@uw.edu // 206-543-2580